Main definitions of pin in English

: pin1PIN2


See synonyms for pin

Translate pin into Spanish


  • 1A thin piece of metal with a sharp point at one end and a round head at the other, used especially for fastening pieces of cloth.

    ‘One of them cleverly decorates a vase by drawing plant leaves using a sharp pin, while another shapes small frog-like figures to be put on ashtrays.’
    • ‘To adjust the fit, stick the tapes on the underneath side to the front of the nappy or use grips or pins to fasten a cloth nappy.’
    • ‘She had already filed down one end of the pin to have a sharp point and thin width; it had never hurt to be prepared before.’
    • ‘I have made the universe out of paper and pencil and pins.’
    • ‘At the age of 14 he became interested in curves he could draw using a pen held by thread looped round pins.’
    • ‘The Major applied the last of the bandage cloth and used a pin to keep it in place.’
    • ‘Use a pin to push the paper bits gently back into place so they're hidden by the stitches.’
    • ‘Documents are copied with carbon paper and then held together by straight pins.’
    • ‘Insert map pins, metal tacks, and pushpins with plastic heads to create dots, stripes, and hearts.’
    • ‘Victor carefully threads the sharp pin through Laurie's sweater.’
    • ‘But he's also hoping a wall piece covered by pins from every city he crossed will fetch a fair sum.’
    • ‘Wig pins are small and usually have a sharp point at one end to help the pins penetrate the wig piece.’
    • ‘Although the plastic pinned poppies are less dangerous, they often require metal pins to keep them in place.’
    • ‘The metal in the pin and screws was the finest space-age steel alloy.’
    • ‘To save time replacing the pins, I taped little colored pieces of paper on the floor where the pins went.’
    • ‘She said today's nappies were a far cry from the terry towelling nappies boiling on a stove and the need to juggle metal pins.’
    • ‘The pushpin color photograms are created by placing the pins directly into the photographic paper surface in the color darkroom.’
    • ‘I sure hope whoever put that diaper on fastened the pin tight.’
    • ‘Make sure there are places your dog can get stuck in or fall from and there is no sharp objects like nails or pins laying around.’
    • ‘The works are fashioned from paper and use ink, glitter and pins and are incredibly delicate, erotic and dense.’
    tack, safety pin, nail, staple, skewer, spike, brad, fastener
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A small brooch or badge.
      ‘a gold and diamond lapel pin’
      • ‘Jewellery in the form of bracelet, rings, pins and earrings have been used universally since time immemorial.’
      • ‘The cufflinks, lapel pins and brooches have been made in Orkney and are available only to MSPs and parliament visitors.’
      • ‘In my satchel I had a black leathern pouch stuffed with silver pieces, and the tiny red one, full of rings and pins and brooches and chains.’
      • ‘Hanging from the brooch pin was a white crystal on a worn leather thong.’
      • ‘Studying it, it appeared that it could actually be a pin more than a brooch.’
      • ‘Rings, bangles, ear-rings, and nose pins are among the Vivah collection.’
      • ‘Due to the small size, we related the netsuke to our Western-style jewelry of pendants and pins.’
      • ‘We also add jewelry, from rings and bracelets to pins and neckwear.’
      • ‘Bronze brooches and pins, dress fasteners, silver rings, knives, beads of amber and glass and even some objects that seem to be made of ivory appear as the shallow graves were excavated.’
      • ‘Joe and I had found lapel pins and baggage stickers with a Canadian maple leaf design; these too were part of the kit.’
      • ‘He also had pins and badges of all the bands Tina had mentioned, plus a couple of more.’
      • ‘Prison Service Orders say staff should not wear unauthorised badges or pins, and whatever the reasons for wearing it, the badge concerned could be misconstrued.’
      • ‘As a material it was used for making a wide variety of objects but was especially common for jewellery such as brooches, buckles, belt ends, dress pins and rings.’
      • ‘Her work includes headpieces, necklaces, rings and pins.’
      • ‘They ranged from the production of brass and other non-ferrous metals to screws, nuts, bolts, chains and anchors, pins, and jewellery.’
      • ‘Strands of faux pearls, hand-painted ladies' lapel pins, and other jeweled accents amplify the theme of the day.’
      • ‘The class also received public relations catalyst lapel pins.’
      • ‘Kerry fundraisers will be busy as bees this week as they take to the streets of the county selling pots of honey and lapel pins in aid of Down Syndrome Ireland.’
      • ‘There are angel bookends, guardian angel lapel pins and ceramic candle-holder angels.’
      • ‘Van Dyke chuckles and asks if we might like to take some lapel pins home with us.’
      badge, brooch, sticker
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Medicine A steel rod used to join the ends of fractured bones while they heal.
      ‘The operation was success and her femur was pinned together with three large metal pins.’
      • ‘Surgeons at St James's Hospital in Leeds, where she was treated, thought she may lose her legs but managed to save them with a variety of metal implants, screws, plates and pins.’
      • ‘They removed damaged tissue and inserted bolts and pins, trying to piece together his shattered bones and tendons.’
      • ‘His knee will now be held together by metal pins.’
      • ‘The woman next to me was in an accident and had metal pins surgically planted into her back for reconstruction.’
    3. 1.3A metal peg that holds down the activating lever of a hand grenade, preventing its explosion.
      ‘I woke the other day with this quote floating around in my head ‘When you remove the pin, Mr. Hand Grenade is no longer your friend.’’
      • ‘Kerry didn't see an opportunity; he saw a hand grenade with the pin taken out.’
      • ‘Orr simply walked across the sand, clambered on to one of the tanks, ‘popped’ the pins on his hand grenades and moved over the edge of the hatch.’
      • ‘After nearly three hundred years of grenade technology development, and the best way to activate it was still the old-fashioned pin.’
    4. 1.4
      short for hairpin
      ‘Pull your hair back and attach the pins vertically on both sides.’
      • ‘Tuck the ends of your hair under the knot and secure with a bobby pin.’
    5. 1.5Music A peg around which one string of a musical instrument is fastened.
      • ‘‘You give people individual notes like the little pins in a musical box’, he chided the composer.’
  • 2A metal projection from a plug or an integrated circuit which makes an electrical connection with a socket or another part of a circuit.

    as modifier, in combination ‘a three-pin plug’
    • ‘These pins plug into the circuit board of the product for which the chip is intended.’
    • ‘The circuit couples the speaker connection of the first pin to the microphone connection of the second pin.’
    • ‘Through holes are also provided on the board for user expansion via a 96 pin DIN connector.’
    • ‘The position of these upper pins keeps the plug from turning - the pins bind the plug to the housing.’
    • ‘The cartridge cover also supplies key features that aid in alignment of the pins and a socket.’
    • ‘The PCI connector includes voltage I / O pins for supplying power to the I / O buffers.’
    • ‘The demo board is also equipped with a six pin modular connector to interface directly with the company's MPLAB in-circuit debugger.’
    • ‘In either case, you must ensure that there are no bent connection pins, the unit is plugged in properly, and the IDE cables are in good condition.’
    • ‘However, the publicity blurb does make clear that Malaysia has three pin electric plugs at 240 volts which is more than Thailand can claim.’
    • ‘Mounting it is straight forward and then it's just a simple matter of plugging the 3 - pin fan socket into the motherboard's fan header.’
    • ‘It is an 80 pin connector that is designed for drives that plug into a SCSI backplane.’
    • ‘In between the molex convertor and the 3 pin power connector is where the speed controller fits in.’
    • ‘I was a little surprised that a 4 pin molex connection is required, as the fan doesn't really draw a lot of power.’
    • ‘We also can get a look at the three pin fan connections (four total) on the board.’
    • ‘One of the sockets is only 2 pins, and this is for a ‘Fan Only’ cable.’
    • ‘Next to each power input for each port there is an output, again of the 3 pin connector type.’
    • ‘The pins in the power cable female connector are not springy enough, and fail to make good contact with the pin in the plug in the appliance.’
    • ‘The processor, for example, must be installed with great care, since the socket's pins can become easily bent.’
    • ‘The ports differ in how specific signals are connected to pins on the connector.’
    • ‘Luckily for me I had a three pin connector around from a much older case and was able to make my own adaptor.’
    • ‘Breathing deeply, I pulled the pin on the smoke bomb and hurled it at an unsuspecting Enrico, who was walking with a phone and had Jeff by his side.’
  • 3Golf
    A stick with a flag placed in a hole to mark the hole's position.

    ‘His third shot out of the sand sees the ball roll 20 feet past the pin but he holes the tricky par putt.’
    • ‘Can you imagine wanting to play golf without greens, targets, pins, or holes.’
    • ‘In a round that included three birdies and seven pars, she also claimed near pins on holes eight and fifteen, and the long putt on hole nine.’
    • ‘And as Fred and his three colleagues approached the green, the wind again took hold to blow the flag pin - and the four watched amazed as the ball plopped into the hole.’
    • ‘Daly had an opportunity to force a playoff, but also stroked his four-foot par hole past the pin.’
  • 4(in bowling) one of a set of bottle-shaped wooden pieces that are arranged in an upright position at the end of a lane in order to be toppled by a rolling ball.

    ‘Wandering among its pillars, I felt like an ant among the pins of a bowling alley: 134 awesome skittles, each more elaborately decorated than the last.’
    • ‘They have 6 Mexican boys working for the YMCA bowling alley setting pins.’
    • ‘And this idea is related to the ending of the film, where you see the strings that pull on the pins in the bowling alley.’
    • ‘To help bring much-needed money into the household, the stalwart student set pins at the local bowling alley and poolhall.’
    • ‘In the winter you worked shoveling sidewalks and setting up pins in the bowling alley.’
    • ‘Antero bowled a 515 series and Jim Montgomery knocked down 509 pins, both bowling as spares’
    • ‘You know what this is like, when you're doing you're best material and all you can hear is the sound of bowling pins being knocked over.’
    • ‘A'senti created a very large ball of electricity and sent it over to a throng of guards, laughing as they were knocked down unconscious like bowling pins.’
    • ‘Then again, one morning this week I was walking to the subway and a guy passed by on 3rd Avenue on a unicycle, juggling three bowling pins.’
    • ‘He could react to the start signal, bring up the 625, blast six bowling pins off the table, reload, and take two more in under six seconds.’
    • ‘Olivia moved to Azure as Akamaru was about to take the bowling pin and smack Olivia's bowling ball, but lost balance and fell on his face.’
    • ‘I flew across the country with a bowling pin in my carry on luggage.’
    • ‘The Crown suggested it made no sense for Willis, armed only with a bowling pin, to challenge a man with a gun.’
    • ‘All you need to add are the bowling pins and a bowling ball.’
    • ‘Marvin runs, slipping on a banana peel, crashing into a mound of stacked bowling pins.’
    • ‘The way every crash of bowling balls and pins made her jump, and caused her eyes to dart about like those of a wary rabbit or a wild mare made him want to take her in his arms and allay all her fears.’
    • ‘He was unable to convert the spare and found himself down by 22 pins after the 1st frame.’
    • ‘She throws a Brunswick Arc but is looking for something reactive, a ball that goes long and hits hard at the pins.’
    • ‘It features lights that begin flashing on impact and continue to do so as the ball rolls down the lane and strikes the pins.’
    • ‘Glass threw a strike on his first ball in the 10th frame and needed only eight pins to take home the trophy.’
  • 5pins informal A person's legs.

    • ‘she was very nimble on her pins’
    • ‘Even if you can't sing, can't dance but have a half decent set of pins and can play football, a new reality TV series wants to hear from you.’
    • ‘If my auld pins were half a century or so younger, I'd give it a go meself.’
    • ‘For those with THE perfect pins, hemlines from micro short and slim fitting will suit individual tastes.’
  • 6Chess
    An attack on a piece or pawn which is thereby pinned.

    ‘the pin of the black queen by the white rook’
    • ‘In order to differentiate between the White and Black pieces, the Black ones have small pins or pips on the top.’
    • ‘Black breaks the pin caused by White's dark-squared Bishop while developing a piece and preparing to castle.’
    • ‘Black still has the pin against the undefended rook on h1, so it becomes a question of whether Black can defend his knight more times than White can attack it.’
    • ‘If Black develops his king bishop outside the pawn chain, he cannot break the pin by normal means.’
    • ‘But now White's pieces swarm into the center and the pin on the knight becomes even more serious.’
  • 7British historical A half-firkin cask for beer.

    • ‘The gas (IN) fitting of a pin-lock-style keg has two pins; the beer fitting has three.’



/pin/ /pɪn/

verbverb pins, verb pinning, verb pinned

  • 1Attach or fasten with a pin or pins in a specified position.

    ‘her hair was pinned back’
    • ‘pin a note on the door’
    • ‘One young woman recalled the way her badges had been pinned to her school blazer; another said she'd never forget Leigh's smile.’
    • ‘Mikey pins a large decorated badge of Jackie Robinson on the Golem, who smiles.’
    • ‘Attach and pin the pre-curled hair wefts around the base of the ponytail anchoring to the previously placed bobby pins.’
    • ‘Then he pinned one of the badges to Becki's coat.’
    • ‘One of the Red Soldiers turned me and pinned a beautiful shining badge onto my left chest.’
    • ‘She has golden blonde hair that is neatly pinned back with a few random strands left on her face as if she is saying that she could be cute without any effort.’
    • ‘Her long black hair, having been pinned randomly across her head, and dark eye make-up gave for a very gothic look.’
    • ‘The gate was just the first step, there are fence rails to be nailed and sheep netting to be pinned before the boys can pack up their belongings and flit.’
    • ‘Beau studied the handsome silver badge that was pinned inside, and his eyebrows rose.’
    • ‘Nenine managed to pin one onto her dress and proceeded to fasten another onto a red stole trimmed with gold.’
    • ‘Close by, fields were busy with tractors yesterday, but Peddie had declared his premises a no-go area, pinning a hastily-written ‘Keep Out’ to a tree.’
    • ‘By his Glasgow Academy days, he was pinning Labour Party flyers under his blazer and flashing them at fellow pupils.’
    • ‘Under sunny skies, Chirac pinned Legion of Honour medals on 14 veterans in the pomp-filled ceremony at Arromanches.’
    • ‘A map of Afghanistan is pinned above the fridge and the names of the provinces and towns trip off Moler's tongue as though they were just across the Mississippi.’
    • ‘Tom Crute's ‘Corporate Death Star’ was pinned up near the ceiling and above other works.’
    • ‘In recent years, signs had been pinned to trees saying ‘No Permissive Footpath Exists’, he claimed.’
    • ‘She also comments on the amount of pornographic material that was pinned up on inmate's walls, despite the prison having a policy banning it.’
    • ‘A bloodstained note left by the couple, which suggested they might be planning to kill themselves, was found pinned to a fence nearby.’
    • ‘ON a recent visit to our daughter in London, she brought home the following which had been pinned on the staff notice board by the head teacher.’
    attach, fasten, affix, fix, stick, tack, nail, staple, clip, join, link, secure
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Hold someone firmly in a specified position so they are unable to move.
      ‘she was standing pinned against the door’
      • ‘Inside a small apartment, Adam was pinned against the door with a hand across his mouth.’
      • ‘The man, who has not been named, had to be released by firefighters after he was pinned against a fence by the lorry at a Weymouth industrial estate on Wednesday morning.’
      • ‘Anthon moved so fast, Kiki hardly had time to react and when she did, she was pinned against her car with Anthon's hand at her throat.’
      • ‘He rushed forward, ramming his forearm against her collarbone, so that she was pinned against the wall.’
      • ‘He was pinned against a wall while several girls were trying for his attention.’
      • ‘Within five moves she was pinned and his blade pressed to her white throat.’
      • ‘For the second time in ten minutes I was pinned against a wall.’
      • ‘I growled and turned to strangle his scrawny neck, but I quickly remembered I was pinned against the wall.’
      • ‘She wasn't as fast as she thought she was, however, and she made it only two steps before she was pinned against the wall of the stable.’
      • ‘I tried to ward him off with my arms but I was pinned against the fence.’
      • ‘At the last moment, he noticed that he was pinned against a hill, but by the time it registered, it was too late.’
      • ‘He groaned and this time, turned me around so that I was pinned against the wall.’
      • ‘Jason was pinned against a tall oak tree with Nemesis slowly closing in on him.’
      • ‘So while I was still pinned against the wall he used his free arm to dig into the jacket.’
      • ‘The child was pinned against a wall by the bike as its rider was thrown into the road at Stoneclough village, near Bolton.’
      • ‘The employee was pinned against the drum the rope was being wound on, she said.’
      • ‘But the second she let her guard down he turned the tables on her, rolling her over onto her back and pinning her in a move she had taught him only that morning called ‘the lockdown’.’
      • ‘Kai woke up, he tried moving but something was pinning him on the table that he had slept on, he looked to his right and on his arm was the beautiful Mina.’
      • ‘At hare coursing meetings all over Ireland, hares are still capable of being pinned down, injured and killed by muzzled dogs.’
      • ‘One pinned the 36-year-old down as the other repeatedly stamped on his leg, York Crown Court heard yesterday.’
      hold, restrain, press, pinion, constrain, hold fast, hold down, immobilize
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Chess Hinder or prevent (a piece or pawn) from moving because of the danger to a more valuable piece standing behind it along the line of an attack.
      ‘Since the black queen is pinned to the black king by the white rook, the queen cannot be moved off the e-file.’
      • ‘White Bishop on e2 is pinned to the White King.’



/pin/ /pɪn/


    as neat as a pin
    • Extremely clean or neat.

    be able to hear a pin drop
    • Used to describe absolute silence or stillness.

      • ‘there was a pause in which you could have heard a pin drop’
    for two pins
    • Used to convey strong temptation to do something, typically from annoyance or irritation.

      • ‘for two pins I'd have tipped that bowl and all its contents over her’
    pin one's ears back
    • Listen carefully.

      • ‘It's pinning their ears back, throwing out question after question you know they can't answer correctly and then attacking every single syllable they toss up from their defensive crouch.’
    pin one's hopes on
    • Rely heavily on.

      ‘retailers were pinning their hopes on a big-spending Christmas’
      • ‘When astrophysicist Joseph Smith, Ph.D., was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 1984, he may have been tempted to pin his hopes on stardust.’
      • ‘Many Hispanics pin hopes on pope's visit.’

Phrasal Verbs

    pin down
    • 1pin someone down, pin down someoneForce someone to be specific and make their intentions clear.

      ‘It's very hard pinning people down on exactly what they that think is going on and how they feel about it.’
      • ‘Oh I don't know, Mother, you can't pin these kids down to an exact hour.’
    • 2pin someone down, pin down someoneRestrict the actions or movement of an enemy by firing at them.

      ‘Growling in rage under her breath, Syd let go of her bad arm and charged toward the enemy, pinning him down.’
      • ‘If you're not firing, the enemy will fire at you, pinning you down.’
      • ‘PFC Thompson set up his machine gun in the path of the onslaught and swept the enemy with withering fire, pinning them down momentarily, thus permitting the remainder of his platoon to withdraw to a more tenable position.’
      • ‘The terrorists are watchful of your team's movement and hide in effective places to pin you down.’
    • 3pin something down, pin down somethingDefine something precisely.

      ‘the government's ideology is bafflingly difficult to pin down’
      • ‘Robert Weisbuch's analysis of the poem is the most eloquent argument I've read for refusing to pin the poem down to the kind of allegorical reading I am doing here.’
      • ‘I wish I had access to Lexis-Nexis right now, because I'm sure I could pin this story down if her old columns for the NY Post are up there.’
      • ‘‘Why do we need to pin it down,’ asked one of the presenters, ‘when its potential is that it is happening all the time?’’
    pin on
    • pin something on someoneAttribute the blame or responsibility for something to someone.

      • ‘they pinned the blame for the loss of jobs on the trade unions’


Late Old English pinn, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch pin ‘pin, peg’, from Latin pinna ‘point, tip, edge’.

Main definitions of PIN in English

: pin1PIN2


See synonyms for PIN

Translate PIN into Spanish


(also PIN number)
  • An identifying number allocated to an individual by a bank or other organization and used for validating electronic transactions.



/pin/ /pɪn/


1970s short for personal identification number.